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The Rise of Viagra
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The first book to detail the history and the vast social implications of the Viagra phenomenon

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Preface: Bob Dole, Bill Clinton, Bazooms, and Me 1 Introducing Viagra 2 The Rise of Erectile Dysfunction 3 Fixing the Broken Male Machine 4 The Pill Doesn't Always Thrill 5 The Search for the Female Viagra 6 APill for Everything? Epilogue: A Hard Act to Follow Appendix: Studying "Up" NotesIndex About the Author

About the Author

Meika Loe is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies at Colgate University.

Reviews

This book's punning title clues us in to its focus: discourse relating to Viagra and the medicalization of sexual dysfunctions, first men's and later women's. Drawing heavily on academic theories, Loe (sociology & women's studies, Colgate Univ.) tells a fascinating and sometimes disturbing tale of products discovered before science understood why they worked, diseases expanded to the worried well, and experts keeping cozy and often covert company with pharmaceutical companies. The story starts with the invention of the "little blue pill" and then covers "penis-as-machine" messages, cautions about the new drug, and the search for a female equivalent. This is not sociology Loe does not give statistics of messages, opinions, or behavior. It's more an agenda-driven anthropology of how medicine, the pharmaceutical industry, journalists, and lay people have spoken and written about Viagra and sexual dysfunction and what that might mean about us. Says Loe, real people and their needs have been given short shrift by this discourse. Recommended for business, medical, and sex collections in academic and large public libraries. Martha Cornog, Philadelphia Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"The book is not a polemic but a deep and thoughtful examination of derivative problems not anticipated by Viagra's aggressive marketers. It is especially effective when placing the campaign to promote Viagra (a trade name) in the greater context of the medicalization of modern health care." Choice "Meika Loe's core argument is that the unprecedented success of Viagra in America is not the result of an exciting scientific breakthrough bringing relief to the desperate or the dying. Rather, commercial interests have created a socially desirable but medically limited product-ironically, by denying the fundamentally social nature of sex... The central argument gains pace throughout the book, becoming increasingly compelling as the ominous implications of Viagra for American society unfold." The New England Journal of Medicine "This book is immensely readable and highly accessible to a nonscientific audience. The Rise of Viagra adds a valuable sociological perspective to the public discourse on sexuality, technology, and sexual performance - a dialogue that the drug itself helped to create." The Journal of the American Medical Association "Loe delivers a smart, pointed analysis of the drug companies' phenomenally successful efforts to promote their goodies." Washington Post Book World "Loe documents the discoveries and the hype that is Viagra's legacy-from physician Giles Brindley dropping his pants to show hundreds of colleagues his chemically induced erection in 1983 to Bob Dole's confessions. In the process, Loe challenges drug companies' definitions of normal sex and normal aging." Psychology Today "The power of The Rise of Viagra lies in its clear observations of this fresh new process of disease creation. Many revealing and engaging quotes." British Medical Journal "This book tells the...very human story of the origins and consequences of the first blockbuster sex drug... [A] sober inquiry about a drug that has intoxicated much of America. It could not be more thought-provoking, or more timely." ForeWord "Loe tells a fascinating and sometimes disturbing tale of products discovered before science understood why they worked, diseases expanded to the worried well and experts keeping cozy and often covert company with pharmaceutical companies." Library Journal "Armed with sociological skill and a sense of humor, Loe ... raises important issues, which her heavily documented research suggests are real, regarding America's 'quick-fix pill culture.'" Booklist, starred review "This marvelous book offers penetrating insights about the most psychologically potent pill in history." Michael Kimmel, author of Manhood in America " The Rise of Viagra provides a timely, highly original, ad compelling interrogation of the increasingly intimate (and troubled) relationship between sex and medicine in the Viagra era" Men and Masculinities "[An] engaging account and trenchant critique of the powerful blue pill. Based on extensive research, and written with clarity, grace, and wit, The Rise of Viagra chronicles an incredible intertwining of bodies, pleasures, marketing savvy, and the undying quest for the medical fix." Steven Epstein, author of Impure Science: AIDS, Activism, and the Politics of Knowledge "Meika Loe's book tells the story of Viagra with skill and verve. She brings to that tale a sharp eye, a fine ear, and just the right degree of irony." Daniel Callahan, author of What Price Better Health: Hazards of the Research Imperative "A fine piece of contemporary history. The Rise of Viagra paints a thoughtful portrait, letting the reader decide whether the Viagra phenomenon is ultimately to be celebrated or rued." Katharine Greider, author of The Big Fix: How the Pharmaceutical Industry Rips Off American Consumers "As companies like Pfizer change the very meaning of what it means to be human in the twenty-first century, we need scholars like Meika Loe to expose their actions. One of the most important books in the field." David Healy, author of Let Them Eat Prozac

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